Harris Santos v. Colvin
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER re: 18 MOTION to Remand Case to Social Security Administration filed by Defendant Carolyn W. Colvin. Motion is GRANTED and that this case is remanded pursuant to sentence four of 42 U.S.C. Section 405(g) for further proceedings as outlined in the motion. An appropriate Order of Remand shall accompany this Memorandum and Order. Signed by Magistrate Judge Thomas C. Mummert, III on February 26, 2014. (MCB)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
DEMETRIO HARRIS SANTOS,
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting
Commissioner of Social Security,
Case number 4:13cv1446 TCM
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This is an action under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for judicial review of the final decision of
Carolyn W. Colvin, the Acting Commissioner of Social Security (Commissioner), denying
the applications of Demetrio Harris Santos (Plaintiff) for disability insurance benefits (DIB)
under Title II of the Social Security Act (the Act), 42 U.S.C. § 401-433, and for
supplemental security income (SSI) under Title XVI of the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1381-1383b.1
After Plaintiff filed a brief in support of his complaint, the Commissioner filed a motion to
remand. Plaintiff does not object to the motion.
Plaintiff applied for DIB and SSI in March 2011, alleging he was disabled as of
December 2010 by a fractured knee, fractured feet, and hepatitis C. His applications were
denied by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) following a hearing at which he only testified.
The case is before the undersigned United States Magistrate Judge by written consent of the
parties. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(c).
The Appeals Council then denied his request for review, effectively adopting the ALJ's
adverse decision as the decision of the Commissioner. This action followed.
In his brief in support of his complaint, Plaintiff argues the ALJ, erred by, inter alia,
relying on the Medical-Vocational Guidelines after finding he had the residual functional
capacity to perform light work with an additional limitation of needing an opportunity to
alternate between seated and standing positions. Plaintiff argues this additional limitation
significantly erodes the occupational base and requires, at a minimum, the testimony of a
In her motion to reverse and remand, the Commissioner states that on remand the
Appeals Council will then remand to the ALJ with directions to further develop the record,
including the assessment of Plaintiff's residual functional capacity with specific references
to the evidence, the clarification of the additional limitation, and the solicitation of relevant
testimony by a vocational expert.
A case seeking judicial review of the Commissioner's adverse decision may be
remanded pursuant only to sentence four or six of § 405(g). See Shalala v. Schaefer, 509
U.S. 292, 296 (1993); Melkonyan v. Sullivan, 501 U.S. 89, 97-98 (1991). "Sentence four,2
by its terms, authorizes a court to enter 'a judgment affirming, modifying, or reversing the
decision of the [Commissioner], with or without remanding the case for a rehearing.'"
Buckner v. Apfel, 213 F.3d 1006, 1010 (8th Cir. 2000) (quoting § 405(g)) (footnote added).
Sentence four reads: "The court shall have power to enter, upon the pleadings and transcript
of the record, a judgment affirming, modifying, or reversing the decision of the Commissioner of
Social Security, with or without remanding the cause for a rehearing." 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
The Commissioner's unopposed motion is properly considered a sentence four remand. See
Boyle v. Halter, 165 F. Supp.2d 943, 943 n.2 (D. Minn. 2001) (noting that Commissioner's
motion to remand after answer has been filed was appropriately made pursuant to sentence
four). It will be granted.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the motion of the Commissioner to reverse and
remand is GRANTED [Doc. 18] and that this case is remanded pursuant to sentence four
of 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) for further proceedings as outlined in the motion.
An appropriate Order of Remand shall accompany this Memorandum and Order.
/s/ Thomas C. Mummert, III
THOMAS C. MUMMERT, III
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
Dated this 26th day of February, 2014.
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